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Rickets is a fairly common disease among young children. Rickets is associated with damage to the musculoskeletal system resulting from a lack of vitamin D in the body.
There are several degrees of severity of rickets: mild, moderate and severe. The presence of some signs can predict the development of rickets and prevent it at an early stage.
This disease requires an integrated approach to it. An important role in treatment is played by parents, who should take the child out for walks as often as possible, provide proper nutrition and follow all the doctor's recommendations. Rickets can be prevented or suppressed at an early stage (then recovery comes much faster).
Preventive measures include proper nutrition, frequent walks, etc. Prevention of rickets can be started several months before the birth of the baby. The clinical picture of secondary rickets differs from the clinical picture of primary rickets.
Rickets is a childhood disease. It occurs in young children. Rickets is sometimes even referred to as a growing body disease, because most cases of the disease occur between three months and three years of age. In addition, rickets is more common in premature infants.
Rickets has been known since the seventeenth century. It was then that the attention of doctors was first drawn to this disease. For the first time, some description of rickets is found in 1645. The fact that with rickets there is a process of softening of the bones was noted in 1660. A more detailed description of the clinical picture of this disease was compiled in 1751. At the beginning of the twentieth century, rickets was treated with fish oil and very successfully: so in 1909 rickets was cured in Russia in two months. The child was treated by the doctor I. A. Shabadu (and in New York at about the same time - in 1917 - a clinic was created that was supplied with this valuable product). In 1919, it was discovered that rickets can be cured using ultraviolet radiation.
Rickets is associated with a lack of vitamin D in the body. The reason for such a shortage can be many factors, ranging from improper diet and infrequent walks at a fresh age and ending with pathologies of the kidneys and liver. Vitamin D is directly related to the musculoskeletal system: as a result of organic transformations, it turns into a compound that is required by the human body for the proper absorption of phosphorus and calcium microelements. The latter are known to be the main building blocks for bones. Thus, with a lack of this vitamin, the normal absorption of calcium and phosphorus trace elements is impaired. Due to the lack of these microelements, they are "washed out" from the bone tissue. It can be said that in this way the body provides a normal concentration of calcium and magnesium levels, but as a result, the bones become softened. Mineral metabolism is very important for the muscles, its disturbances are reflected in them.
Rickets is not common in all countries of the world. It is known that animals never get sick with this disease. In addition, rickets is difficult to find among peoples with a primitive lifestyle. African countries are very rare with such a disease as rickets. It is practically unknown in Japan and China. In countries where fishing is developed and such a product as fish is often eaten, rickets is also extremely rare (associated with the content of fish oil in food). These are the same countries as Greenland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland. The abundance of sunlight also does not create conditions for the spread of rickets. Therefore, this disease is unknown for Turkey and Greece. But in some cities of North and Central America, Europe, Canada, 30-90% of all children are ill with rickets. It is important to know that the sun's ultraviolet rays are not able to penetrate the apartment through the glass. Also, they may not reach each specific person (in this case, we are talking mainly about children) if the air is polluted. After all, it is the light theory that can explain the seasonal nature of rickets. It should be noted that black children who live in countries with a temperate climate are especially susceptible to rickets. This is because the pigmentation of their skin does not allow sufficient sunlight to penetrate. Statistics show that the incidence of rickets in rural areas is much lower than in cities. In addition, the higher the territory of a city or country is above sea level, the lower the likelihood of developing rickets.
Irrational feeding of a child is one of the causes of rickets. Yes, that's exactly it. Since if a child is fed with someone else's milk, then calcium is not absorbed enough. It is also proven worldwide. That among those children who were fed with mother's milk, rickets is much less common, and if this disease does occur, it proceeds in a rather mild form. Research shows that with formula feeding, a baby can only absorb 30% calcium and about 25% phosphorus. When breastfeeding, the baby usually absorbs up to 70% calcium and 50% phosphorus. Even from these data, an appropriate conclusion can be drawn about the importance of breastfeeding an infant. If the child receives food in the form of monotonous food (saturated with lipids or proteins), then this can also lead to a disease such as rickets.
There are several degrees of severity of rickets. Mild severity is characteristic of the initial period of the disease. It is characterized by a thickening of the occiput, the appearance of thickenings (bone) on the wrists, fingers and ribs. Some children experience decreased muscle activity.
Moderate rickets involves moderate changes in the skeletal system. For such rickets, the decisive factor is the more pronounced, in comparison with the mild degree, pathology on the part of the musculoskeletal system. This pathology is often accompanied by diseases of various internal organs. There is often an increase in the size of the liver and spleen, as well as anemia, that is, anemia. Anemia is a condition of the body characterized by a low content of red blood cells (functionally complete red cells) in the blood.
Severe rickets includes lesions of several parts of the skeletal system. The internal organs (the pathology of which is much more pronounced than in previous cases) and the nervous system are greatly affected. Such rickets leads to a lag in mental and physical development. There may be complications of this disease, which, as a rule, occur in the absence of treatment appropriate for the disease. Also, with a severe form of the disease, bone changes can lead to severe deformation: for example, the appearance of a keel-shaped or funnel-shaped chest.
It should be understood that the earlier a child is diagnosed with rickets, the easier its course will be.
Rickets instantly leads to damage to bone tissue. This is absolutely not the case. On the contrary, the first signs of the disease reveal themselves for a rather long period of time before the actual bone changes. These signs, so to speak, harbingers of rickets are associated with sleep disturbance of the child, constant sweating. Red spots can be found on the child's skin, his restless or agitated state is noted. A clinical blood test provides a basis for the diagnosis of rickets. However, advanced cases of rickets can be diagnosed even after familiarization with the external clinical examination data.
Rickets requires complex treatment. Most often, it includes the goal of bringing vitamin D to normal levels in the body, as well as identifying the causes of calcium and phosphorus deficiency and eliminating them. The patient is advised to ensure frequent exposure to fresh air (especially on sunny days). The need for this is due to the fact that the ultraviolet and solar spectrum promotes the appearance of vitamin D, which is so necessary in this case, in the human skin. Ultraviolet radiation is often given to help the body produce vitamin D on its own.
As far as nutrition is concerned, it should include an abundance of complete nutrients. First of all, it is required to provide the child with food intake into his body, which is sufficiently saturated with vitamins and microelements. Direct use of vitamin D favorably affects the general condition of the patient's body - the specialist prescribes the preferred dosage and duration of vitamin intake (most often from a period lasting from one to one and a half months).
In preventing the development of rickets in a child, the prevention of this disease plays an important role. Prevention itself can be successfully started before the baby is born. In this case, it includes the correct and rational nutrition of the mother. In addition, in the last months of pregnancy, the mother (and, accordingly, her child) will not interfere with the use of vitamin D. If childbirth occurs in autumn or winter, that is, the seasons "poor" in sunlight, then the mother can think about the possibility of mild doses of ultraviolet radiation. Prevention of rickets directly in a child should include proper nutrition, frequent walks (again, especially in hot weather), parents are required to pay great attention to the physical development of their child.
Clinical manifestations of secondary rickets differ from primary rickets. Secondary rickets can be caused by taking medications (of course, not all, but only some of them). Also, secondary rickets can occur due to liver dysfunction. In this case, there are deviations in the functioning of the biliary system. As a result, the absorption of certain vitamins by the body (including the important vitamin D) is impaired. Therefore, rickets in this case is often accompanied by deformation of the liver or jaundice. Rickets can develop with metabolic disorders, as well as with violations of the proper functioning of the endocrine glands.